With Game 5 now suspended, the weather became the dominant story in a 2-2 Game 5 from Philadelphia on Monday. That comes with a one and a half hour rain delay for Game 3 of the World Series plus a lopsided win for the Phillies in Game 4, ratings for this year’s Fall Classic are on-pace to be the worst since ratings started to be tracked by Nielsen Media Research.
Saturday’s Game 3 saw the lowest rated game ever with a 6.1/13 rating, falling well under Game 1 of the Tigers/Cardinals World Series in 2006, a postseason that was also besieged by weather issues. Also, due to the rain delay in Game 3, the game marked the latest start and end time for any World Series game in history.
Sunday night’s Game 4 drew a 10.7/17 overnight rating, “down 25.2% from a 14.3/23 for the comparable series-clinching Red Sox-Rockies Game Four last year, which also aired on a Sunday night,” according to Monday’s edition of the Sports Business Daily.
The wildness (rain, wind, and cold) that came with Game 5 underlines one of MLB’s most difficult issues when it comes to the postseason: retaining viewers during weather related delays.
Such is the bane of baseball out of doors, the only stick and ball game played that has to worry about delaying or suspending games due to rain or snow. It is a common part of the NFL and MLS, while the NBA and NHL never have to worry about such matters due to arenas.
As mentioned, the Cardinals and Tigers World Series was the lowest rated ever, came with a postseason that was a constant case of weather watching throughout, and was a looming factor in the ratings. For those that don’t recall, here’s how weather played a part in 2006:
- Game 2 of the ALDS was rained out on October 4th
- Two games were rained out in the NLDS (Game 1 on October 11 and Game 5 on October 16).
- Two rainouts in the NLCS (Game 1 was postponed due to rain on October 11 and Game 5 was postponed due to rain on October 16)
- Game 2 of the ALCS was rained out on October 4
- Game 4 of the World Series was postponed due to rain on October 25, which was the first time a rainout had occurred since Game 1 of the World Series in 1996
All told, seven games had to be rescheduled due to rain in 2006, a new record since MLB went to the Wild Card format.
So, as many of you went to bed on Monday night wondering whether the Phillies would be the 2008 World Series Champions, FOX may be broadcasting a game on Tuesday or Wednesday to determine if that is the case with the game tied at 2-2. If there were any doubt that the 2008 World Series was going to be the lowest rated ever, Mother Nature has now made all but certain. Here’s to watching Game 5 on Monday… and Tuesday… or Wednesday, or…